Britain cannot afford to pay workers more

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From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby, Scunthorpe.

BILL Adams (Yorkshire Post, November 15) says that Britain needs a pay rise. Well, as regional secretary of the TUC, in the words of Mandy Rice-Davies, he would, wouldn’t he? What he neglects to point out, whether he is aware of it or not, is that Britain’s pay rise has to be earned.

Raising pay without matching productivity results in inflation. It’s basic economics. What do you think a shopkeeper will do when he learns that all his customers are getting a pay rise? Yes, that’s right, he’ll put his prices up. Which, apart from any other consideration, will hurt pensioners and those on welfare. That is assuming that a small businessman will be able to afford for very long to pay statutorily imposed high wages to staff who have not created the increased profits to pay for them.

Wage rises without increased output will shrink margins, businesses will go bust and staff who imagined themselves in a land of milk and honey will instead end up in the soup kitchen. And how long do you think it will take those on benefit to demand similar increases? Increases which the country simply cannot afford.

Like a freeze on energy prices, artificial manipulation of the relationship between earnings and productivity damages the economy and, worse, is ultimately doomed to failure.

The so-called “living wage” (a nonsensical term) like its predecessor the “minimum wage” is a typical “quick fix”.

What it will actually achieve is increased unemployment and an upward pressure upon inflation. Without increased productivity, its impact upon the domestic economy would have to be disguised by increased borrowing at increasingly usurious rates of interest.

It’s the same on a personal level – you lose your job, but you can temporarily disguise your predicament by maxing out your credit card. In other words, the same situation we found ourselves in when Labour was last in power and Great Britain plc almost went bust.

Don’t let’s make the same mistake again. Everyone – you, me, the trade unions and the Government must live within our means. We must stop fooling ourselves that anything else is possible. It isn’t. And it never has been.

All in this
together?

From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

WELL, once again those people who had doubts about the claim frequently made during this recession that ‘we are all in this together’, have been proved correct.

When Matthew Lowry, chief NHS manager, left Rotherham Hospital in March of this year he received a pay-off of £260,000, but just six months later was appointed Director of Finance at Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust Hospital on a salary of £120,000 per annum.

Showing very welcome concern for the rest of us and, apparently, to demonstrate his total understanding of the dire financial position of many ‘normal’ people, he has generously agreed a pay cut of £25,000 in his salary of £120,000pa. How many years will he take this pay cut? Will it be made until the £260,000 pay-off he so recently received is fully recouped?

Don’t be silly, life in the upper levels of Britain’s society doesn’t seem to work like this any more. Oh no, it will only apply for the first year of his new appointment. This, in effect, means his colossal leaving package has been reduced by a small percentage to a mere £235,000.

Matthew Lowry has been paid £235,000 from all of our taxes for having a six-month rest – just how can this be described and justified?

How will this voluntary reduction in his first year’s pay be viewed? What amazing generosity, I don’t think! What a magnanimous gesture of returning such a small part of the original sum, it makes me reach for the sick bucket. Is this designed to fool us, to make us, somehow, feel grateful; to make us feel what a considerate person he is?

When nurses are being sacked; when A&E departments are closing; when many people are very worried about being able to pay this winter’s fuel bills, what comfort will they be able to take from the monstrous ways the so-called elite members of our society grab such obscene amounts of the monies from the taxes everyone else have had to pay?

Your vote will
count now

From: John Wilkinson, Bateman Road, Rotherham.

FURTHER to your comments re Paul Sykes’ donation to Ukip, I would just like to say that if you vote Ukip you can now expect to get Ukip (Yorkshire Post, November 15).

Labour will not necessarily be the party gaining power in 2015 when our next General Election is due. We have proved in Rotherham that solid Labour wards are vulnerable (Rawmarsh by-election May 2013).

Wake up everyone, it’s not just about immigration, it is about our loss of sovereignty.

We need real democracy in this country, like the Swiss, where the people have the power – not an ‘elite’ in Westminster or Brussels.

From: Danny Myers, Lees Lane, Northallerton.

I REFER to the lead article (Yorkshire Post, November 18) about open borders and wish to point out that the the website address given in the article is incorrect and should read “areyoulisteningprimeminister.co.uk”. I suggest that this is such an important and emotive issue that a correction should be printed in a prominent location in the next issue of the Yorkshire Post.